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STI posts modest gains of 0.3%

SINGAPORE shares eked out modest gains on Wednesday against a mixed showing by regional peers, with the key Straits Times Index inching up 8.07 points or 0.3 per cent to finish at 2,669.49.

Key gauges in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia rose, while those in Japan, South Korea and Australia finished in the red, as caution prevailed amid a steady drip of worrying virus news, which threw cold water on hopes of a gradual global recovery.

Traders also stayed on the sidelines ahead of Thursday’s release of Japan machinery orders in May - pundits expect extended declines as Covid-19 continues to hurt the world’s third largest economy) - as well as China’s inflation figures and US jobless claims.

OANDA’s senior market analyst for the Asia-Pacific Jeffrey Halley said: “Of the three, the US number will be of most interest. Consensus suggests initial jobless claims will hold steady at 1.5 million. However, if the number comes in much worse than expected due to new lockdowns across the US Sun Belt, that may be all markets need to hit the 'sell' button into the weeks’ end.” 

In Singapore, turnover came in at 2.03 billion shares worth S$1.04 billion, versus Tuesday’s 2.3 billion shares worth S$1.24 billion. Within the STI, 15 counters posted gains, and 11 saw losses. 

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Singapore’s three banking stalwarts led the gains alongside Wilmar International, HongKong Land and Keppel Corp, which collectively added 11.3 index points to the STI.

Margaret Yang, strategist at DailyFX said: “Investors are probably sitting on the sidelines ahead of a nation-wide election on Friday. Once the political skies clear, the stock market will likely find its own direction and start to move in tandem with the rest of Asia."

CSE Global rose 2.5 Singapore cents or 5.4 per cent to 48.5 Singapore cents. The global technology solutions provider had disclosed on Tuesday that an investment firm owned by Temasek Holdings has emerged as its substantial shareholder, after it scooped up a 25.03 per cent stake through a married deal.

Tee International jumped 0.3 Singapore cent or 10 per cent to 3.3 Singapore cents from its last traded price of three Singapore cents, and was one of the most active, with 60 million shares done. The company’s shares were halted from trading on Tuesday, pending its announcement that it had received an offer from investment holding firm Tramore Global at 3.38 Singapore cents per share, after it emerged as controlling shareholder.

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